New Portrait Drawing Video is Now Live!

Our latest portrait demonstration video is now live on YouTube! A longer version with instructional commentary is available for download here on our website.

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  1. Hi David,

    I was checking your website to see if the new Video is available. I wanted to ask you a question about sharpening your pencils. In reviewing your videos I see that the 7B and the white charcoal are extremely well sharpen. How do you get them so sharp?

    ps. I can hardly wait for the next video.

    thanks and regards,

    Teo Z.

  2. Thanks for the info David. I purchased both downloads and they have taught me many things, chief of which is to not rush into rendering features too soon. These 2 videos of your have made me a better artist. Are you planning more videos? Would you consider doing a woman of color? Are you planning longer videos?

  3. Hello David, I think your drawing technique is genius. I was wondering about how you apply the graphite powder to your paper for the hair. It looks like you are almost applying a paint. Do you dampen your brush? I have tried using graphite powder with a dry brush and most of the powder doesn’t adhere to the paper. I can’t get the darks you do. How do you do it?

    1. Stephen, it is applied somewhat like paint, but I don’t dampen the brush at all… It’s just applied liberally, and a lot of it does indeed snow off of the paper and onto the easel below – which is hard to see in the video. If it’s not adhering to your paper, you might need to try another type of paper. Experiment. Smoother, hot-press paper will likely be less absorbent of graphite, so if that’s what you’re using try a cold-press paper with a bit more “tooth” to it and see if that works better for you.

      Good luck!

  4. Hi David,
    I just purchased your videos, they are excellent presentation; I was wondering what pencil do you use at the beginning for the initial shadows, is it an “F” or a “2H” pencil? Also, do you have a tutorial with instruction step by step?

    In the videos you said that you don’t use soft pencils like 2B, 4B and only use 7B and 8B for the darkest areas, but what about the middle dark areas in the face, what pencil are you using here?

    Thanks a lot for the videos and look forward to seeing more videos from you.


    1. Hi Teo,

      Thanks for your purchase, and I’m glad you liked the videos. The pencil I’m using initially in the shadows is the same one I used for the block-in – probably an F, but possibly an H or an HB… Anything “mid-range” will do – not too hard, not too soft.

      Anything that isn’t really dark – like the pupil of the eye, or the darker values in the hair – is done with an H pencil or harder. Anything softer than that gets too greasy and shiny in my experience.

      Hope that answers your questions… We’re working currently on a step-by-step online course in portrait drawing that should be ready to launch by the end of the summer. Keep you eyes open for that down the road.

      Best wishes!

  5. Hello David, I’m a fan of your art. It is amazing! As an artist myself I strive to learn techniques skills that may help me grow. I was wondering what your preferred painting and drawing surfaces are. The brands or if you custom prep them. Im specially interested in the toned paper you use for your drawings. I recently began to use a grey toned surface as my ground for painting. i have not had luck finding a similar color in the paper available in my area. Would you be so Kind as to help me narrow my search to your selected brand and color?